Allister MacGillivray noted that his song was written in response to a photo of Glace Bay Harbour (Cape Breton), as taken by noted photographer Warren Gordon. "I wanted to write a song with no people in it, only boats at rest. Of course, there's a ghost in one of the verses but he/she doesn't qualify as a human. The song was written as a folk tune at first, but then seemed to work as a choral piece as well. It's been recorded worldwide around 40 times." - AMG to George Seto/Mudcat Forum, Aug 9, 2007.
Note: The YouTube video on this page of the Diocesan Boys' School Homecoming Concert (Hong Kong, 1998) demonstrates the worldwide appeal of this song.
From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English: Cuddy - cabin at the bow or stern of a small vessel or large boat for accommodation and provisions.